Thursday, June 28, 2007

InterSwitch provides EMV solution to Access, UBA Group

Electronic transaction switching and payment processing company, InterSwitch Limited, announced the provision of Europay MasterCard and Visa (EMV) to top runners of the nation’s 25 recapitalised banks, namely Access and UBA banks.

This is coming as merchants and cardholders will begin to see the introduction of InterSwitch-enabled cards that feature the Chip & PIN technology as from September this year.

Group Head, Service Delivery at InterSwitch, Mr. Akeem Lawal, said that the availability of EMV at these banks would enabled the usage of its “Chip and Pin” solution with Access Bank and UBA’s Automated Teller Machines (ATM) Driving Front End Processors (FEP).

Mr. Lawal explained that it allows for the acceptance and processing of smart, chip-based cards on all payment terminals or channels on the InterSwitch platform.

He also said that the chip and PIN solution is based on the EMV standard, which is widely adopted in other advanced parts of the world, especially in Europe.

Mr. Lawal stressed that the new solution would afford UBA and Access banks the ability to issue chip cards conforming to ‘EMV’ standard, process the cards, transact on their own in-house systems as well as enable the acceptance of all EMV compliant cards on the ATMs deployed by the banks.

“Cards accepted include the domestic ‘Chip & Pin’ version of the popular InterSwitch ATM/Debit cards and local as well as international VISA chip cards. The existing ATM/Debit cards will still be accepted on all ATMs,” he enlightened.

The group head noted that with this product, Access bank and United Bank for Africa facilitates the usage of the “Chip and PIN” solution to their FEP is a very straight forward way out.

“The two banks ATMs can now accept both magnetic stripe cards and EMV Chip cards. We have used the innate ability of the position switching software to achieve this feat with relative ease and we will continue to build our fully secure InterSwitch payment infrastructure on this platform,” he said.

According to him, the chip and PIN solution offers new features that keep Access Bank and UBA one step ahead of competition.

“I look forward to seeing the new breed of chip-enabled products the bank have in store for their customers,” Mr. Lawal said.

Equally commenting on the revolution, Managing Director, InterSwitch, Mr. Mitchell Elegbe said his firm is using the open standards and proven technology to make already safe payment system even more secured.

“However, what is more exciting are the opportunities that open up with the intelligence that can be put on the chip cards to offer innovative value adding products and services that address customer’s needs and drives banks’ profitability” Mr. Elegbe noted, adding that although Chip & PIN migration in other parts of the world has been very expensive exercise and takes many years to complete InterSwitch was able to achieve this in Nigeria in a few months at a fraction of the cost.

“The complete migration of all the banks on our network to Chip & PIN will take a few more months and the timing for the introduction of Chip & PIN will vary from one financial institution to another, however, the migration will be completed before the end of December 2007” he enthused.

He revealed that beginning in September 2007, merchants and cardholders will start to see the introduction of InterSwitch-enabled cards that feature the Chip & PIN technology.

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